Hobbies, Reading

Life's a Beach: forgettable beach read

July 4, 2011

Life's a BeachLife’s a Beach by Claire Cook
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is the story of Ginger, a woman in her early 40’s who makes jewelry and lives in an apartment above her eccentric parents’ garage. Her primary income seems to come from watching her older sister Geri’s children. Geri is almost 50 and has the great house, diligent husband, super-important job, company-supplied BlackBerry and three precocious (read: annoying) children.

Ginger pushes her cat (named Boyfriend) around in a stroller and is in turn pushed around by her wacky family and emotionally distant somewhat-boyfriend, Noah.

Ginger’s life gets a huge breath of fresh air and a chance to really change its course when Geri’s son Riley becomes an extra on a movie being shot locally. Ginger watches Riley while he’s on the set and meets a bunch of new people.

Will Ginger find a new life at 41? Disappointingly, not really. The plot loses steam halfway through the book and in an attempt to get it rolling again, the characters all become insufferable.

Things that bugged me about this book:

1. The constant flogging of the Childfree by Choice agenda by Ginger is pretty disingenuous, considering she is more childfree by circumstance. Real Childfree by Choicers will find the ending pretty eye-rolling.

2. Boyfriend Noah was written as a complete jerk and self-centered artist who took Ginger for granted. Gaffer Tim was written as a charming and hard-working man who was genuinely interested in her. Why she didn’t end up with Gaffer Tim is boggling.

3. I ended up hating Ginger’s whole family by the end. Riley became a brat. His sisters were brats from the start. Geri, fired from her high-powered job and having a poor-me crisis about turning 50, ends up shoving her way into Ginger’s jewelry business. Their father went from lovable goofball to crazy hoarder to law-flouting whackjob.

4. Way to go and really not change anything, Ginger.

I picked up this one because it was a Barnes & Noble free Nook ebook. I’m glad I got it for free.

Recommended for: Women who believe that its best to settle into old habits when faced with change. Pushovers.

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